Administration of Justice: Racial Discrimination

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 8th July 2021.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the findings of the report Worst-Case Scenario: How Racism in the Criminal Justice System Harms Women’s Chances of Finding Work, published by Working Chance on 29 June 2021.

Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the report Worst-Case Scenario: How Racism in the Criminal Justice System Harms Women’s Chances of Finding Work, published by Working Chance on 29 June 2021, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of commissioning an independent review that focuses specifically on disparities in the treatment of and outcomes for racially minoritised women in the criminal justice system.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

In the Female Offender Strategy, we committed to looking at how the of distinct needs minority ethnic and non-British national women in the criminal justice system can be addressed. This includes:

  • establishing the Female Offender Minority Ethnic Working Group (FOME) to identify ways of improving outcomes for ethnic minority and non-British national women;
  • taking forward findings from user centred research on reducing barriers these women face in understanding the legal processes they experience from arrest to pre-sentencing;
  • developing cultural awareness training for staff that work with women that will look at the impacts of culture, faith and sustaining family relationships.

Two updates published since the Government response to the Lammy Review have described the wide range of activity taking place to address race disparity in the criminal justice system and we are now considering the findings and recommendations of the independent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, as part of the Government’s response.

We will study the conclusions of the report Worse-Case Scenario and officials from the Ministry of Justice will meet with the authors.

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